I got a new white board that I keep outside my classroom at school. Nearly every day I make up a quotation and pretend it is from someone famous. I have actually surprised myself by coming up with some pretty good ones that even I think are probably famous quotes by someone else besides myself. Last week I had one that said, "The road to greatness is never flat." That's pretty much how I've been feeling about the most recent adversity I've been faced with. Through February everything was rolling perfect. I was in the best running shape of my life, had biked 60% more mileage than last year at that point, was swimming my best workouts ever, had nearly reached my goal of increasing my leg weights in the weight room by 30% over last year, and I was 10 lbs. less than my 2009 race weight. With each workout my confidence soared and I was believing that a podium finish in a pro race was going to happen this summer. Around the middle of March things started to fall apart quickly. My achilles tendon hurt too bad to run so I was just swimming and biking when that didn't hurt. I finally decided surgery was the best way to a long term fix and since my April 27th surgery the recovery has had its' ups and downs. Knowing that I was missing what I had planned to be my professional debut on June 6th was not a huge deal to me but I began rushing into workouts in order to prepare for my new pro debut which is slated for July 18...which WAS slated for July 18th. After waking up on Monday with a huge cankle (lots of swelling around the ankle for those who never saw Shallow Hal, I cancelled all my pro races for the 2010 season. It was the toughest decision I've had to make yet. I want badly to race well at the professional level but I finally faced reality this week. I am hurt and the only way to make this a long term fix so I can reach my goals down the road is to let my body heal now. It was very difficult for me to come to this realization but after deciding to get the pro races off the schedule it allowed for me to take time off of training to let my body heal without feeling stressed out about losing fitness. I realize the Ironman I was planning to do is not until September. That is much sooner than most would think considering I wanted to build up to a 140 mile bike ride and a 2 hour 30 minute run leading up to that. I decided at this point I was trying to rush back into training so I could build to those levels in time to race. My stress levels are down now that I'm patiently waiting to be healthy before I resume workouts. My leg was swollen all week and showed no progress until today. I still hope to race this summer but it will be in races that are not pro-only fields. I didn't want to enter a pro race with a lack of training. I'm simply not good enough to try to race at that level without the proper training. I don't mind racing in non-pro events without being in tip-top shape. I signed up for a 1/2 Ironman in Door County, Wisconsin to replace Ironman Racine 70.3 on the same day. I'm also signed up for the Pigman 1/2 Ironman in August and I think I'll do another non-pro 1/2 Ironman in September if I'm healthy. Those races will help me build my confidence and get some high quality work in while I prepare to get my fitness back to where I want it leading into 2011. My pro license only lasts two years so I need to get back for things next year.
It's been a little depressing not working out since that has become such a large part of my lifestyle over the past year and a half but it has allowed me to spend much more time at home with Jen and the kids and that helps to take away the void of not training. Payton is growing up extremely fast. We put together this video of her you that may enjoy. I've had more time to help her learn the ABC's and she's starting to go potty on her own quite often which is exciting. I'm continuing physical therapy at Plaza Physical Therapy with Kevin Swanson and I've also resumed getting ART treatment from Dr. Kaminski at Kaminski Pain and Performance Care. They are both taking great care of me so I can hopefully return to working out and competing soon. Author John Paul Severin published the rest of the interview between super pro Andrew Starykowicz and myself at http://poohbeartri.blogspot.com/2010/05/pro-to-pro-jeff-paul.html
This part of the interview features my responses to Andrew's questions. Every great story involves the main character overcoming adversity. I hope this is the worst bump in my road for 2010. I'll enjoy the greatness much more now that I've had to deal with this bump. I can't wait to go for a run...a bike ride...to compete...thanks for reading. DREAM BIG!